The ZIMBABWE Situation Our thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.

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Mail and Guardian

Zimbabwe turns back the clock

      Angus Shaw | Harare, Zimbabwe

      14 September 2004 08:59

In this nation that once boasted one of sub-Saharan Africa's most vibrant
economies, things have become so bad that people have taken to telling a wry
joke: "What did we have before candles?"

The answer: "Electricity."

Four years of turmoil have turned back the clock here.

Ambulances are drawn by oxen. Hand-guided cattle plows have replaced farm
machinery. The state railroad uses gunpowder charges on the tracks to warn
trains of danger ahead.

The often-violent seizure of thousands of white-owned farms for reallocation
to black Zimbabweans, coupled with erratic rains, has decimated Zimbabwe's
agriculture-based economy.

President Robert Mugabe argues that the land seizures have corrected
ownership imbalances from British colonial days that left one-third of the
country's farmland in the hands of about 5 000 white farmers.

Many seized farms went to Mugabe's cronies and lie fallow.

Ownership deeds were abolished, denying most new farmers collateral for
loans for equipment and materials. Tobacco production -- once the country's
biggest hard-currency earner -- has dropped by nearly 75% since the seizures
began in 2000.

The economic free-fall has been marked by regular power blackouts and acute
shortages of fuel, spare parts and new technology. Soaring inflation and a
shortage of hard currency have made it impossible to import machinery needed
to rebuild the economy.

Once-fertile farmland now has the desolate look of a junkyard; farm machines
that used to rumble through fields now stand idle, broken down or plundered
for components.

"Whole irrigation systems are down, farm equipment is at a standstill or in
a shocking state of repair," said John Worsely-Worswick, head of a farmers'
support group.

A formerly white-owned estate that produced a fourth of the nation's wheat
has been broken up into small parcels of land for black farmers, bringing
intensive, large-scale farming to a halt.

The once-mechanised property in the main grain-growing area of Chinhoyi,
north-west of Harare, is now mainly tilled by animal-drawn harrows.

In an unusual admission of economic weakness, the government recently
estimated that at least 35 000 new tractors are needed to revive mechanised
agriculture, which began here with the importation of the first tractor in
1911. Foreign investors and aid groups have been withholding support because
of alleged government corruption and human-rights violations.

With signals functioning on just 20km of a 300km stretch of track, the
state-owned National Railways of Zimbabwe has reverted to posting
handwritten cards at sidings and stations to advise crews about the
movements of trains.

Crews use signboards or small gunpowder charges detonated by an oncoming
train's front wheels to warn of blockages ahead.

A plan to reintroduce steam trains on some routes was abandoned earlier this
year because costly and impractical repairs were needed at water-pumping

The independent Southern African Railways Association has described
Zimbabwe's broken railway system as lagging at least 50 years behind
present-day standards.

Faced with a shortage of ambulances in the crumbling national health system,
nine wooden carts hauled by oxen went into service in July to ferry pregnant
women, children and other non-emergency cases safely -- and slowly -- along
rural dirt roads to the nearest clinics.

The United Nations Children's Fund helped pay for the locally built
ambulances -- bigger, enclosed versions of the traditional donkey cart, with
a red cross emblazoned on their white sides. More are planned, said Tich
Chikowore, of the Children's Fund.

Abraham Kochi, a house painter from western Harare, said he can no longer
find kerosene for his stove and is forced to cook with firewood.

"I go to meet the buses coming from the rural areas. They are bringing
bundles of wood to sell," he said.

This new reliance on firewood by poor families has caused severe

As poverty deepens, the Zimbabwe National Association of Traditional Healers
has reported a sharp increase in patients consulting herbalists and
spiritualists who practise centuries-old rituals that had previously been

Their services and potions -- such as crushed beetles and roots to treat
common fevers and other ailments -- cost a fraction of those of Western

Doctors say midwives are now sealing off the umbilical protrusion of
newborns with string, and dentists say many of their patients are using salt
instead of toothpaste.

Unemployment of nearly 80% has forced many skilled workers to eke out a
living as street vendors.

Disused mine shafts have been unsealed by desperate Zimbabweans searching
for the remnants of ore that is then crushed and panned in water using
ancient techniques.

Much of the ore is found around the pillars that hold up the shafts, said
mining expert John Holloway.

"Hacking away at the pillars and walls is very dangerous indeed," he said,
though there are no records of deaths or injuries among the illegal miners.

Panners digging deep into river banks have also caused massive environmental
damage, he said. Seasonal rains wash away the banks and dump silt into the
rivers and dams.

Such practices are effectively encouraged by the government, which increased
the price paid by the state bullion exchange for gold after a dramatic fall
in legal production last year, blamed on shortages of mining equipment and
spare parts.

"We have gone back in time," said Worsely-Worswick, of the farmer's support
group. -- Sapa-AP
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September 13, 2004

~~~ Newsletter 051 ~~~
Breaking all the rules

Join our mailing list

Remember, you must be dialled up to the internet to view the pictures in this newsletter.
Make sure to look at the image below of zpf's spin machine.

zpf's spin machine

We don't brake for dictators.
- Zvakwana bumper sticker

Russia 1974 = Zimbabwe 2004
Does history teach us anything? What lessons do we learn; how much do we ignore? Below are some extractions from Alexander Solzhenitsyn's essay called Live Not By Lies.

Some background information: Solzhenitsyn spent 11 years in prison camps and exile after being arrested in 1945 for writing letters containing remarks critical of Stalin. There, in the camps, he first met people able to talk openly and grapple with real issues in ways that were impossible in conditions of freedom where family, career and the future were considerations. 'Live not by Lies' was released on 14 February 1974. Written about four years earlier, it pointed to the double standards of an ideology that had come to serve the ends of power, to public fear and inertia. It called for a campaign of non-cooperation with a harsh and often brutal communist regime that survived largely by suppressing information and creating fantasies about itself. It urged the Soviet people to be true to their own perceptions and understanding, and not subscribe to any form of words that belied or misrepresented these. 'In our country the lie has become not just a moral category but a pillar of the state. In breaking with the lie, we are performing . . . an act that would immediately have an effect on our way of life.'

Live Not By Lies - selected bits and pieces
Things have almost reached rock bottom. A universal spiritual death has already touched us all and physical death will soon flare up and consume us and our children. But, as before, we still smile in a cowardly fashion and mumble with our tongues tied. What can we do to stop it? We haven't the strength. We have been so hopelessly dehumanised that for today's ration of food we are willing to abandon all our principles, our souls and the efforts of our predecessors, as well as all the opportunities for our descendants. Just don't disturb our fragile existence! We lack resolution, pride and enthusiasm. We don't even fear universal nuclear death, nor do we fear a third world war - perhaps we can hide in crevices. We just fear acts of civil courage. We are afraid to lag behind the herd and to take one step alone - and suddenly to find ourselves without white bread, heating gas and a Moscow registration.

We cannot do anything about it. But we can! We lie to ourselves to preserve our peace of mind. It is not they who should be blamed but ourselves. One can object, but cannot imagine what to do. Gags have been stuffed into our mouths. Nobody wants to listen to us and nobody asks our opinion. How can we force them to listen to us? It is impossible to change their minds. It would be logical to vote them out of office, but there are no elections in our country.

In the West people resort to strikes and protest demonstrations, but we are too downtrodden and it is too horrifying for us. How can one suddenly renounce a job and take to the streets?

Is the circle closed? Is there really no way out? Is there only one thing left to do - to wait without taking any action? Maybe something will happen by itself. But it will never happen as long as we daily acknowledge, extol and strengthen - and do not sever ourselves from - the most perceptible of its aspects: lies. When violence intrudes into peaceful life, its face glows with self-confidence, as if it were carrying a banner and shouting: 'I am violence. Run away, make way for me - I will crush you.' But violence quickly grows old. After only a few years it loses confidence in itself, and in order to maintain a respectable face it summons falsehood as its ally - since violence can conceal itself with nothing except lies, and the lies can be maintained only by violence. Violence does not lay its paw on every shoulder every day: it demands from us only obedience to lies and daily participation in lies. And this submissiveness is the crux of the matter. The simplest and most accessible key to our self-neglected liberation is this: personal non-participation in lies.

And from that day onward she:

If we are too frightened, then we should stop complaining that we are being suffocated. We are doing this to ourselves. Read more on the Zvakwana website

Interesting listening.. nobody forced to be here

The picture above shows the massive crowd thronging one of the MDC anniversary rallies
Big support was in evidence. Yes, and this is positive because unlike the failing regime that buys bus tickets for people to attend their events, loyal MDC supporters went because they really wanted to. Were you there? How do you show your support for democratic change?

Need to hire some chairs for your wedding?
Then think twice about going to Rooney's who were put in the Financial Gazette as being one of the biggest money givers to zanu pf. Maybe Rooney's can tell us how well they think zanu pf spent their donation. Or maybe they are just greasing the ruling party's plate.

Protecting grace
I nearly choked on my tea when I read an article about a 'specialist protection service' (Essentials Magazine July issue page 23) who name grace mugabe on their client list alongside people like U2's lead singer Bono, the International Olympic Committee of SA and Don King. (This is a real double whammy as everyone knows that Bono is an activist rallying support to help alleviate problems in Africa). Maybe you could suggest that people contact them and ask them why they pride themselves in protecting the grace.

Write to Bono and ask him not to use the same company that services a dictator's wife next time he visits South Africa:
Millennium Bodyguards website:
Sent in from a Zvakwana subscriber

Guerrillas rule, ok!
mugabe warned Britain, the United States, Australia and Nigeria against interfering in Zimbabwe as he accepted the credentials of their new ambassadors, deadbc reported last week. Receiving the representatives at one of his many residences mugabe made reference to the 1972-80 war to end white racist rule in former Rhodesia, telling the officials: "We will turn our people into guerrillas again should the need arise. So leave us alone." What the small dictator is failing to understand is that he himself is already turning strategic groups of patriotic Zimbabweans into guerrillas by his heavy-handed governance. The NGO bill is one such example. It is obviously far more effective for civic groups to go underground to continue their important work unhindered by the clutches of paranoid baba chatunga. Even as we write this Zvakwana has received news from two organisations that have vowed to continue even by using subversive means.

the GET UP message is all about

Rambai kuyanikwa pamutariko nechihurumende chiripo. Onai iyezvino tatosvava! Chiiko chavari kutiitira kunze kwekutipa nzara, urombo, dzidzo isakakodzera, nezvipatara zvisina utano hwakanaka. Nguva yakwana yekuti tichinje zvinhu.
Ngatirambe hutongi huripo husingade kusimudzira hupenyu hwedu isu veruzhinji. Ngatibatanei munharaunda medu tichitsigirana muna zvose.
Simuka iwe, taurirana nekudzidzisana nevamwe, uwane nhanho yaungatore kuti ramangwana redu tese rive rakanaka.
"Nguva yake yakwana"

Activists in high-density areas have handed out thousands of pegs carrying Zvakwana messages. And, in solidarity, shopkeepers have been hanging strings of pegs outside their places. The message is clear - don't let yourself be hung out to dry like a piece of meat - Get Up!

Big pom poms to our religious leaders for condemning political and social injustice
While we see religious leaders speaking out about the abuses of the zanu pf government we in Zvakwana are wondering how many ordinary Zimbabweans are concerned that they are compromising their religious beliefs by not Getting Up and Standing Up to mugabe's tyranny? Have you evr considered disobedience to authority? Remember that non-cooperation is a very peaceful and quiet way to stand on the right side of justice. Maybe you don't want to go out on the street (yet) but there are other ways to destabilise the regime. We are pleased to be receiving very many emails from members of Zimbabwe Republic Police who are eager to receive our information on non-violent opposition to this government that is so busy abusing us. It is clear to see that one day when the tables turn and our brothers and sisters in the ZRP are asked to chase us and fire tiger at us, they will join us rather than side with evil.

Some personal questions . . . to roll about in your minds

  1. Would you have defied Hitler's decrees and refused to turn Jewish neighbours over to S.S. troops?
  2. Would you carry Bibles into a country where it was forbidden to possess such?
  3. Would you defy the law of military conscription and refuse to participate in war?
  4. Would you disobey the law and refuse to pay taxes to a government that was using them wrongfully or for evil purposes?
  5. Would you disobey the law in order to educate your children in the manner you regard to be best for them?

Civil disobedience becomes a sacred duty when the State becomes lawless or, which is the same thing, corrupt.
- Gandhi

shake your flag for freedom from the zpf regimeSoccer fever in the sunshine city
Zimbabwean flags were flying everywhere on the day when our Warriors tried to attack the quick booted Eagles from Nigeria. If only we had as much energy to kick out this failing regime as we have when international teams come to our place to play. If only we had more to celebrate! Instead we lost the match, employment is hard to find, the little dictator is growing madder and the MDC has pulled from the elections. Zvakwana has been thinking that it is high time that we become proud of our flag again. Patriotism is not the domain of zanu pf politics. Let us all go out and get a flag and put it in our places. When we look at it let us remember to unite for the betterment of our nation and to give the red card to the greedy chefs who have grown fat while the majority lack even one decent meal per day.


Watch out for Zvakwana papers on the streets!

Zvakwana, Sokwanele, Enough!!

Make sure you SPEAK OUT - keep discussion alive, keep information flowing.

Please remember Zvakwana welcomes feedback, ideas and support for actions.

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New Zimbabwe

Full text of Tsvangirai's anniversary speech

This is an unedited speech delivered by MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai on the
occasion of the Movement for Democratic Change's 5th anniversary
Last updated: 09/14/2004 06:59:54

"As we celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Movement for Democratic
Change, we must place on the public record that our major victory in the
past five years was in building a force that has changed the political
landscape of Zimbabwe and ushered in an era of active, multi-party politics
in this country.

After 19 years of Independence the people turned their backs to empty calls
for empty nationalism and declared that post-colonial Zimbabwe needs a new
dispensation; - a new dispensation that enhances the values of the
liberation struggle. We were born out of a desire to extend the ideals of
the liberation struggle. We are a social liberation force that is demanding
good governance. We fight for freedom, justice, solidarity, equity and
equality for all.

We have the vision. A vision of a new Zimbabwe where there will be food
security and employment for every citizen. With food security and employment
Zimbabweans shall have their dignity restored.

We have won the battle of wills. We have shown that our vision is superior
to that of the forces of tyranny and repression. We have won the hearts and
minds of the majority. With a new vision; with a hygienic political
beginning; with a vibrant and participatory society and; with an innovative
political leadership, Zimbabwe can never be hungry again.

September 11, 1999 shall remain permanently engraved in our memory as the
day that changed Zimbabwe. On this day, the people took a bold and
unprecedented decision to position an alternative political formation, an
alternative political movement that represents the future. We said No! to
bad governance and we still stay no to bad governance.

We withered the storm and continue to march on. We have remained focused on
the objective. In recognition of your resolve, the world has accepted the
leadership of the MDC in the resolution of the political crisis in Zimbabwe.
SADC now agrees with the international community that an election without
violence and intimidation is a right for every Zimbabwean. SADC understands
and agrees that Zimbabwe needs a new beginning.

We told the world five years ago that no one has the ability to destroy the
idea for change in Zimbabwe. We have been proved right. Our support base now
transcends the rural-urban divide. We are gaining a lot of support in
previously closed off areas. The demand for active membership and membership
cards far exceeds our expectations. Against all odds, the people have made
up their minds and continue to demand change.

The myth of invincibility that has come to be associated with the Robert
Mugabe's regime has been shattered. Autocracy and tyranny under the mask of
nationalism has been dealt a fatal blow. The principle doctrine of autocracy
on which the Zanu PF dictatorship nourished has been smashed. The very
foundation of Mugabe's tyranny has been defeated. It is a milestone, indeed.

This is your moment. You must celebrate your victory. Through your
participation, the final chapter in the history of the democratic struggle
in Zimbabwe is being written. As we walk the last mile towards our freedom,
no force will deny us our rightful place in Zimbabwe.

I know that there are great expectations from the nation. Our membership,
our supporters and our sympathizers as well as the public are therefore
eagerly awaiting a positive outcome of the final phase in this struggle.

We must congratulate ourselves as well as our civic partners on the occasion
of this victory. The victory is ours, born out of the collective sacrifice
of the democratic forces. We have been vindicated. We are marching on.

Our party has grown to impressive levels. The party has 12 functioning
provinces and 120 districts, complete with elected representatives and
staff. Our head office in the centre of Harare is the busiest political
office in Zimbabwe, complete with a variety of departments dealing with
administration, legal matters, organizing, social welfare, security and
information and publicity. Our presence in parliament has protected
democracy from being adulterated by those of a tyrannical disposition. Our
people driven local councils have advanced in introducing democracy at the
local government level.

As you are all aware, we have suspended participation in all forms of
elections until the Mugabe regime puts in place mechanisms in line with a
recent SADC electoral framework agreed to in Mauritius.

The challenge facing SADC rests on the implementation of the latest protocol
on elections. SADC must prove that it has teeth. SADC must push Mugabe to
honour his word, and to do so early enough for us to have our elections in
March. It is a crucial test of sincerity on their part. Mugabe and Zanu PF
are holding SADC to ransom, soiling perceptions about the region and
delaying SADC's political and economic advancement.

As Paul Berenger, the Prime Minister of Mauritius and the new SADC chairman
said, the region expects to engage international, multi-lateral finance
institutions and influential regional blocks with a single SADC voice soon
after free and fair elections in Zimbabwe in March. The entire region is
waiting for the regime in Zimbabwe to start moving in the right direction
for the benefit of all.

The significance of the Mauritius declaration is that it confirms the
illegitimacy of the regime and its partisan national institutions. The
crisis in the country pervades all national institutions and can only be
resolved through national dialogue.

Our message from the people was very clear: Mugabe must move fast to put his
house in order. He must make use of that window of opportunity to correct
the anomalies in our electoral system, identified and set right in Mauritius
by SADC. He must show us and demonstrate to the region that he is willing to
move; to translate that spirit of Mauritius on the ground. We stand ready to
compliment in this process.

The onus is on the regime to play ball. They have no choice. They must end
violence; they must end intimidation; they must open the space for the MDC
on public radio and on television. They must place the running of elections
in the hands of an impartial electoral body approved by the whole nation. As
things stand, they are wasting time.

The regime must openly acknowledge the existence of a political crisis and
allow for a smooth transition. A unilateral decision by Zanu PF will not
carry the spirit of the Mauritius declaration. The cosmetic changes they are
proposing are designed for the preservation of the pillars of dictatorship.
Together we will not allow them the space to play games with the people's

The democratic forces in the country must be congratulated for staying
focused in-spite of attempts to divide them. Unity and solidarity of the
democratic forces at this critical stage will derail the regime's strategy
aimed at refocusing attention away from the fundamental issues.

As the nation celebrates the fifth anniversary of the MDC we remember the
challenge facing us. We need a new beginning. We need a new Zimbabwe. We are
ready to start afresh. We pledge to work towards full employment. We pledge
to create a situation where no one will ever go hungry.

May I conclude by saying we are on the winning track. Together, we are
driving the political agenda. Zimbabwe is on the verge of massive and
decisive change. Don't lose out. Be part of that agenda."
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Daily News online edition

      Plight of Africa's opposition parties

      Date:14-Sep, 2004

      ABDOULAYE Wade of Senegal and John Kufuor of Ghana have a lot in
common with John Fundi of Cameroon.

      For years, they led opposition parties which didn't seem to have a
hope in hell of ever achieving power. But they eventually did. And Fundi
may, too, if the long-serving president of Cameroon, Paul Biya, ever loosens
his grip on power to the extent of allowing a free and fair election.

      In Zambia, last week, President Levy Mwanawasa, said he could not hold
elections in 2006 because Zambia did not have the resources to arrange for
the drafting of a new constitution, a referendum on that new constitution,
and an election after that.

      He has a point; the country's economy is not exactly cruising at a
comfortable, safe speed. Despite the help of the white commercial farmers
kicked out of Zimbabwe and now farming in that country, it will be some time
before Zambia's economy can sustain massive expenditure of that kind with no
profits at the end of the rainbow.

      The opposition in Zambia has, predictably, protested at this delay.
Mwanawasa will know how they feel; his party, the Movement for Multiparty
Democracy (MMD) had the same problem with the UNIP government of former
president Kenneth Kaunda.

      But when elections were eventually held in 1991, Kaunda lost to
Frederick Chiluba, in what was hailed by many as a free and fair contest.

      Of course, what Chiluba did with his victory is another story
altogether. Opposition parties in Africa have generally faced obstacles in
their quest for power which related mostly to the outright unwillingness of
the incumbents to give it up.

      What must give opposition leaders such as Zimbabwe's Morgan
Tsvangirai, the courage to continue must be the stories of eventual success
recorded by Abdoulaye Wade and John Kufuor.

      Of course, nobody in Zimbabwe is under any illusions about the
likelihood of Zanu PF giving up easily. This is a party born out of the
liberation struggle.

      It only very reluctantly agreed to share power with its erstwhile
partner in the Patriotic Front, PF-Zapu. If the despotic clique in the
leadership had had its way, Zanu would have ruled the country alone, right
from the beginning.

      To expect a party led by a power-hungry man such as President Robert
Mugabe to voluntarily give up power after a peaceful, free and fair
election - as Kenneth Kaunda did in Zambia - may be a little optimistic.

      Only when the people as a whole are so courageous as to unequivocally
state their choice in massive numbers at the polls would Mugabe concede
defeat - as he did in the 2000 constitutional referendum.

      The task for the MDC is an unenviable one. They must campaign so
courageously and fearlessly that an election result will emerge which not a
single Zanu PF leader would dare question.

      It has to be the total annihilation of the party which claims its
right to rule this country forever on the grounds that it brought
independence and will not give up easily.

      Yet it is the people who must respond with courage and fearlessness to
the challenge.

      After all, it is their independence - not Zanu PF's - which is at
stake. -Editorial

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Daily News online edition

      Border jumpers accused of fanning crime in Beitbridge

      Date:14-Sep, 2004

      MUSINA - Residents here are blaming border jumpers who are caught and
dumped at the Beitbridge police station by South African authorities for the
rampant prostitution and high crime rate at the border town.

      The residents told The Daily News Online at the weekend that the
border jumpers were responsible for high incidents of crime and prostitution
in the town.

      "When they are dumped at the police station here, they will be broke
and they are released without any money or travel warrants. That is why some
of them end up resorting to crime and prostitution to raise money to go back
home," said Fanos Gwendu of Dulibadzimu high density suburb.

      He said crimes such as house-breaking and pick-pocketing were rife in
the town because there were lots of strange people being dumped in the town
daily by South African police.

      Another resident who asked not to be named said the police were to
blame for the current state of affairs in Beitbridge.

      He said: "Police must ensure that all those that are caught and
brought back to Zimbabwe are given travel warrants or money so that they can
go back to their homes."

      Four tuckloads of Zimbabweans who cross the border into South Africa
illegally are brought to Beitbridge police station everyday.

      Upon arrival at the police station, the border jumpers, as they are
popularly know are just recorded in police books and released without any
form of assistance.

      While it was the men who resorted to theft and housebreaking, the
women quickly turn to prostitution. The ladies found clients easily among
the truck drivers who spend days at the border awaiting clearance by custom

      "As you can see there are a lot of lodges here and booking houses
where this business takes place," said Manuel Chikovo, a vendor who operates
at Dulibandzimu bus terminus.

      A survey around the town showed that there were many, some of them
charging hourly rates of $30 000 per room and $140 000 per night.

      A police officer at the station confirmed that they received
Zimbabweans from their South African counterparts every day but could not
release crime statistics in the area without permission from his superior
who was off duty.

      Thousands of unemployed Zimbabweans cross the border into South Africa
illegally in search of jobs. Although some of them succeed, others are
arrested and held in holding camps such as Lindela in Johannesburg and later

      An estimated 2.5 million Zimbabweans work and live in South Africa,
most of them illegally.

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As promised, herewith the final version of the recently gazetted Farm
Equipment and Materials Act.

Please take particular note of Section 14 amendments to section 5 of the
Land Acquisition Act also included in this act and referred to in Fridays
Legal Communiqué.


Commencement: Friday 3rd September, 2004 (date of publication in Government

Act 7/2004


1. Title.
2. Interpretation.
3. Prohibition on destruction, etc., of farm equipment or material.
4. Identification of farm equipment or material.
5. Valuation of farm equipment or material.
6. Acquisition of farm equipment or material by acquiring authority.
7. Compulsory acquisition of farm equipment or material.
8. Application for order confirming acquisition of farm equipment or
9. Payment for farm equipment or material.
10. Use of acquired farm equipment or material.
11. Impersonation.
12. Regulations.
13. Transitional provision.
14. Amendment of section 5 of Cap. 20:10.


To provide for the acquisition of farm equipment or material not being used
for agricultural purposes; to amend section 5 of the Land Acquisition Act
[Chapter 20:10]; and to provide for matters connected with or incidental to
the foregoing..

 ENACTED by the President and Parliament of Zimbabwe.

1 Title

This Act may be cited as the Acquisition of Farm Equipment or Material Act
[Chapter 18:23].

2 Interpretation

(1) In this Act¾

"acquiring authority" means the Minister of Special Affairs in the
President's Office responsible for Lands, Land Reform and Resettlement or
any other Minister to whom the President may from time to time assign the
administration of this Act; "designated valuation officer" means a person
who is designated as a valuation officer in terms of section five; "farm
equipment" means movables used for agricultural purposes on any
agricultural land acquired for resettlement purposes under the Land Reform
Programme, including irrigation equipment not embedded in the ground,
tractors, ploughs, disc harrows, trailers, combine harvesters, pumps not
permanently attached to the land, sprinklers, risers, movable storage
facilities and Modrho tobacco curers; "farm material" means material used
for agricultural purposes on any agricultural land acquired for
resettlement purposes under the Land Reform Programme, including seed,
fertiliser, farm feed and chemicals intended for the destruction of any
noxious plant or insect or for the prevention, treatment or cure of any
disease, infestation or other unhealthy or unfavourable condition of
livestock, poultry, domesticated animals and plants; "identify", in
relation to farm equipment or material or any item thereof, means include
in an inventory compiled in terms of section four; "Land Reform Programme"
means the Land Reform Resettlement Programme and Implementation Plan (Phase
2), published in April, 2001 (as re-issued and amended from time to time),
in connection with the programme of acquiring agricultural land for
resettlement purposes which commenced under the terms of the Land
Acquisition Act [Chapter 20:10] on the 23rd May, 2000. (2) Any word or
expression which has not been defined in subsection (1) and to which a
meaning has been assigned in any provision of the Land Acquisition Act
[Chapter 20:10] shall have the same meaning when used in this Act. 3
Prohibition on destruction, etc., of farm equipment or material .(1) No
owner or holder of farm equipment or material shall wilfully demolish,
damage, alter or in any other manner impair the farm equipment or material,
or cause any other person to demolish, damage, alter or in any other manner
impair it, without the permission in writing of the acquiring authority.
(2) An owner or holder of farm equipment or material who contravenes
subsection (1) shall be guilty of an offence and liable to^×

(a) a fine^×

 (i) equivalent to so much of the amount of the impairment caused to farm
equipment or material as is ascertainable in monetary terms; or
 (ii) not exceeding level ten;
  whichever is the greater amount; or

 (b) imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years; or to both such
fine and such imprisonment.

4 Identification of farm equipment or material

(1) Any duly authorised representative or employee of the acquiring
authority may enter any land or premises at any reasonable time and do such
acts thereon as are reasonably necessary to ascertain^×

 (a) whether there is on the land or premises any farm equipment or
material not currently being used for agricultural purposes on any
agricultural land; and
 (b) the owner or holder of such farm equipment or material; and
 (c) the items of such farm equipment or material on the land or premises;
 (d) the condition of such farm equipment or material and its suitability
for agricultural purposes.

(2) The acquiring authority shall provide each of its authorised
representatives or employees with a certificate indicating his or her
authority for the purposes of this section and the authorised
representative or employee shall produce such certificate to any interested
person on demand. (

3) Upon entering any land or premises the duly authorised representative or
employee of the acquiring authority shall, if he or she has reasonable
cause to believe that there is any farm equipment or material on the land
or premises not currently being used for agricultural purposes on any
agricultural land, request the owner or occupier thereof to compile an
inventory of such farm equipment or material on the land or premises:
Provided that^×

 (a) the owner or holder of any farm equipment or material shall have the
burden of proving, to the satisfaction of a duly authorised representative
or employee of the acquiring authority, that such equipment or material is
currently being used for agricultural purposes on any agricultural land;
 (b) if the owner or occupier thereof refuses to compile an inventory in
terms of this subsection, the duly authorised representative or employee of
the acquiring authority may proceed to compile an inventory of items which,
in the opinion of the representative or employee, comprise farm equipment
or material not currently being used for agricultural purposes on any
agricultural land;
(4) Any person who, after farm equipment or material has
been identified in terms of subsection (3), sells, donates, demolishes,
damages, alters or in any other manner impairs or disposes of such farm
equipment or material without the permission in writing of the acquiring
authority, shall be guilty of an offence and liable to^×

 (a) a fine^×
 (i) equivalent to so much of the amount of the impairment caused to, or
loss of, the farm equipment or material as is ascertainable in monetary
terms; or
 (ii) not exceeding level ten;
  whichever is the greater amount; or
 (b) imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years;
or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

5 Valuation of farm equipment or material

(1) The acquiring authority may designate as a valuation officer any member
of the Public Service who, in the acquiring authority's opinion, is
qualified to carry out valuations of farm equipment or material and to
exercise any other functions of a designated valuation officer in terms of
this Act. (2) The acquiring authority shall provide every designated
valuation officer with a certificate indicating his or her appointment and
the designated valuation officer shall produce such certificate to any
interested person on demand. (3) A designated valuation officer shall, at
the request of the acquiring authority or his or her duly authorised
representative or employee, carry out the valuation of any farm equipment
or material identified in terms of section four. 6 Acquisition of farm
equipment or material by acquiring authority (1) Subject to this Act, the
acquiring authority may, either by agreement or compulsorily, acquire any
farm equipment or material not currently being used for agricultural
purposes on any agricultural land, where the acquisition is reasonably
necessary for the utilisation of that farm equipment or material on any
agricultural land. (2) The acquiring authority shall give not less than
seven days' notice of the intention to acquire any farm equipment or
material to the person owning or holding the farm equipment or material.
(3) The notice referred to in subsection (2) shall be served in person:
Provided that, where the owner or holder of the farm equipment or material
cannot be located, the notice shall be published in the Gazette and in a
newspaper circulating in the area in which the farm equipment or material
to be acquired is situated. 7 Compulsory acquisition of farm equipment or
material (1) After the identification and valuation of farm equipment or
material in terms of sections four and five respectively, the acquiring
authority may, if there is no agreement for the purchase of the farm
equipment or material concerned^×
 (a) acquire the farm equipment or material by making an order compulsorily
acquiring the farm equipment or material for compensation equivalent to the
value placed on the farm equipment or material by the designated valuation
officer; and
 (b) serve on the owner or holder of the farm equipment or material a copy
of the order referred to in paragraph (a). (2) An acquisition order made in
terms of subsection (1) shall contain^×
 (a) a description of the farm equipment or material to be acquired; and
 (b) the compensation payable for the acquisition of the farm equipment or
material. (3) An acquisition order made in terms of subsection (1) shall be
accompanied by a notice in writing inviting the owner or holder to indicate
within fourteen days whether he or she contests the acquisition of the farm
equipment or material or the compensation fixed therefor. (4) Upon service
of an acquisition order on the owner or holder in terms of subsection (1),
ownership of the farm equipment or material shall vest in the acquiring
authority, who shall thereupon have the power to take immediate possession
of the farm equipment or material. 8 Application for order confirming
acquisition of farm equipment or material (1) Where the owner or holder of
any farm equipment or material compulsorily acquired in terms of subsection
(1) of section seven contests the acquisition of the farm equipment or
material or the compensation fixed therefor, the acquiring authority shall,
not later than thirty days after the acquisition, apply to the
Administrative Court for an order confirming the acquisition of the farm
equipment or material. (2) An application in terms of subsection (1) shall
be accompanied by^×
 (a) a copy of the acquisition order; and
 (b) copies of the notices served or published, as the case may be, in
terms of subsection (2) of section six and subsection (3) of section seven.
(3) The Administrative Court shall grant an order referred to in subsection
(1) where it is satisfied^×
 (a) that the acquisition of the farm equipment or material is reasonably
necessary for the utilisation of that farm equipment or material on any
agricultural land; and
 (b) that the farm equipment or material was not, on the date of its
identification, being used for agricultural purposes on any agricultural
land; and
 (c) subject to subsection (4), that the compensation fixed by the
acquiring authority is reasonable in the circumstances. (4) In granting an
order confirming the acquisition of farm equipment or material, the
Administrative Court may fix any compensation that it deems reasonable in
the circumstances. (5) Where the Administrative Court refuses to grant an
order confirming the acquisition of farm equipment or material, it shall
order the acquiring authority to return the farm equipment or material to
the owner or holder thereof. (6) Where the owner or holder of the farm
equipment or material concerned or the acquiring authority is dissatisfied
with any decision of the Administrative Court, whether in relation to the
acquisition of the farm equipment or material or the compensation fixed
therefor, either party may appeal to the Supreme Court against that
decision. 9 Payment for farm equipment or material (1) The acquiring
authority shall pay to the owner or holder of any farm equipment or
material acquired in terms of this Act the compensation offered, agreed or
fixed therefor, as the case may be, within a reasonable time and, in any
event, where the farm equipment or material is compulsorily acquired^×
 (a) at least one quarter of the compensation payable shall be paid at the
time the equipment or material concerned is acquired, or within thirty days
thereafter; and
 (b) the balance of the compensation payable shall be paid within^×
 (i) five years after the acquisition thereof in the case of farm
 (ii) one year after the acquisition thereof in the case of farm material.
(2) The compensation to be paid to the owner or holder of any farm
equipment or material in terms of subsection (1) shall accrue interest at
the prescribed rate from date of acquisition thereof. 10 Use of acquired
farm equipment or material Any farm equipment or material acquired in terms
of this Act shall vest in the State for the benefit of the Land Reform
Programme and shall not be sold or otherwise disposed of to any private
individual, institution or corporation. 11 Impersonation Any person who,
for the purpose of gaining entry into any land or premises, falsely holds
himself or herself out to be a duly authorised representative or employee
of the acquiring authority or designated valuation officer, shall be guilty
of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level ten or imprisonment
for a period not exceeding two years or both such fine and such
imprisonment. 12 Regulations The Minister may make regulations providing
for all matters which by this Act are required or permitted to be
prescribed or which, in his or her opinion, are necessary or convenient to
be prescribed for carrying out or giving effect to this Act. 13
Transitional provision (1) Anything done in terms of any provision of the
Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) (Acquisition of Farm Equipment or
Material) Regulations, 2003, published in Statutory Instrument 273A of
2003, shall be deemed to have been done in terms of the corresponding
provision of this Act. (2) This Act shall be deemed to have come into
operation on the 15th December, 2003. 14 Amendment of section 5 of Cap.
20:10 (1) Section 5 ("Preliminary notice of compulsory acquisition") of the
Land Acquisition Act [Chapter 20:10] ("the principal Act") is amended¾
 (a) in subsection (4) by the deletion of "two years" wherever it occurs
and the substitution of "ten years";
 (b) in subsection (9) in paragraph (c) by the deletion from subparagraph
(i) of "thirty days" and the substitution of "five days". (2) Subsection
(4) of section 5 of the principal Act as amended by this Act shall apply¾
 (a) to every notice issued in terms of subsection (1) or (3) of section 5
of the principal Act before the date of commencement of this Act and in
force at such date;
 (b) to a fresh notice issued in terms of subsection (1) (or (3) of section
5 of the principal Act after the date of commencement of this Act in
respect of land subjected to a previous notice which has lapsed before such


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Zim Online

Tues 14 September 2004

      HARARE - Three people died because of political violence since the
beginning of the year, while more than one hundred women and seven babies
were illegally arrested or tortured by the police in June alone, according
to the Zimbabwe Human Rights Forum.

      The Forum, which brings together 17 of the biggest human rights and
pro-democracy organisations in the country, monitors human rights abuses in
the country and issues regular reports detailing specific cases of
politically-motivated violence, torture or arrest.

      In its latest report released late last week, the Forum said two men
Alexander Chigega and Francis Chinozvina, all opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) party supporters were killed by suspected ruling
ZANU PF party militants in January and March respectively.

      Another man, Shemi Chambarara, was also murdered for political reasons
during the same period but the Forum said it was not known which political
party he was affiliated to.

      As in most cases in the past involving politically-motivated murders,
none of the culprits have to date been arrested or prosecuted.

      In June police and agents of the state's spy Central Intelligence
Organisation intensified a crackdown on the opposition and organised civic
society. The security agents arrested about 130 women in that month alone
accusing them of breaching state security laws by attending illegal

      The police also accused the women of seeking to overthrow President
Robert Mugabe and his government.

      Under the government's draconian Public Order and Security Act,
Zimbabweans must first notify the police before gathering for political

      The women, most of whom were released without being charged, were
arrested while attending meetings organised by the Women of Zimbabwe Arise
(WOZA) group which were meant to discuss ways of uplifting women.

      Under the state's security laws, organisers of such meetings need not
inform the police first before calling them.

      In one incident on 16 June, 43 members of the WOZA group were
attending a meeting to discuss self-help projects at Matshobana Hall in
Zimbabwe's second largest city of Bulawayo when armed police stormed the
hall and arrested the women.

      The Forum said in its report: "The women were taken to Western
Commonage Police Station (in the city). At the Police Station, the 43 women
were locked up in what the police called the yard. A count was done - 43
women and 7 babies were recorded and they were told to wait for officers
from the Law and Order Maintenance section."

      Most of the women and all the babies were released after several hours
in detention but four women were kept in jail overnight. State prosecutors
refused to charge the women the following day forcing the police to release

      In yet another of the several cases of state security forces harassing
innocent citizens, the report details how the police arrested 11 women who
were part of a group of 73 women who were marching along Bulawayo's Fife
Street to mark the United Nations World Refugee Day.

      The women were kept in jail for three nights before being taken to
court where they were charged with breaching the Miscellaneous Offences Act.
They were released on free bail.

      The Forum says during the period under review the police harassed
supporters of the MDC and banned the party's meetings.

      ZANU PF supporters also assaulted MDC supporters for attending the
opposition party's meetings or for wearing its regalia.

      The report comes as MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai last weekend called
on Southern African Development Community (SADC) leaders to pressure Mugabe
to uphold norms and standards for free and fair elections agreed by the
region last month.

      The regional electoral standards require the setting up of independent
commissions to run elections. Electoral processes are required to be
sufficiently transparent while human and individual rights must be upheld
during elections.

      Tsvangirai and his MDC have already announced that they will not take
party in next year's crucial parliamentary poll unless Mugabe sufficiently
adhered to the SADC electoral norms and standards. ZimOnline

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Zim Online

Reserve Bank floats US$10 million bond to boost forex reserves
Tues 14 September 2004

      HARARE - The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe is floating US$10 million worth
of bonds in yet another bid by the bank to improve the country's dangerously
depleted foreign currency reserves.

      "The Reserve Bank hereby invites resident and non-resident
Zimbabweans, as well as other interested foreign investors, to subscribe for
the one year foreign currency bonds," Zimbabwe's central bank said in a
statement last week.

      Minimum subscription amounts for the bonds should not be less than
US$100 and should be in multiples of US$100, 200, 500, 1 000, 5 000 and 10
000. The offer, which opened last Thursday, will close on Wednesday next

      The bank said: "Interest on the bonds shall be 12 months (at the)
London Inter-Bank Offer Rate plus a six percent margin, payable on maturity
at the Reserve Bank in Harare by bank draft or through telegraphic transfer
to the credit of a bank of the bond holder or his/her nominee."

      Special features of the bonds include a Reserve Bank guarantee that
the bonds are redeemable/payable on maturity and that settlement of the
principal plus interest will be made in US dollars. The bonds are also
freely tradable among investors.

      The bond and interest there on are payable out of the general foreign
currency reserves and assets of the Reserve Bank.

      The bond offer by the Reserve Bank comes as Zimbabwe's fuel crisis
worsened again in the last three weeks with fuel stations across the country
running dry because there is no hard cash to pay foreign suppliers of fuel.

      The state-owned National Oil Company of Zimbabwe, which buys fuel in
bulk for state institutions and key sectors such as health and agriculture,
is unable to repay US$171 million it owes foreign oil companies some of whom
have now cut supplies.

      Private oil firms that buy fuel for ordinary Zimbabweans are also
unable to raise foreign currency to pay suppliers.

      Hospitals have gone for months without essential drugs also because
there is no hard cash to pay foreign pharmaceutical firms that manufacture
the drugs.

      A foreign currency auction market also introduced by the central bank
earlier this year and where hard cash is sold to the highest bidder has
flopped also because rates on the auction floors remain unattractive.

      For example, out of the 3 555 bids for foreign currency on the auction
market for the past three weeks, only 564 bids amounting to US$30 million
were allotted hard cash.

      Money transfer agencies, that are running the Homelink scheme, told
ZimOnline that volumes of foreign currency sent home by Zimbabwean exiles
through the scheme plummeted further after the Reserve Bank barred
recipients in the country from getting their money in hard cash. ZimOnline

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Zim Online

MDC drums up regional support
Tues 14 September 2004

      HARARE - The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party will soon hit
the road to drum up regional support for electoral reform in Zimbabwe.

      MDC spokesman, Paul Themba-Nyathi yesterday said the opposition party
will dispatch delegations to Southern Africa Development Community (SADC)
leaders to explain the party's decision to shun next March's parliamentary
elections unless the country's political space is sufficiently democratised.

      MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai last week told foreign diplomats in
Harare that his party will boycott next year's polls unless the ruling ZANU
PF party adopts genuine electoral reforms.

      "We want to make the regional leaders understand our position and the
situation in this country so that they won't be hoodwinked by the Mugabe
regime into believing that it is reforming," Nyathi said.

      The MDC decision to boycott the election has sparked heated debate in
political circles. The MDC says it will explain to SADC leaders reasons
behind the decision to shun next year's polls.

      Meanwhile, Zanu PF is forging ahead with the proposed electoral
amendments, which have already been dismissed as "piecemeal" by the MDC.
Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Patrick Chinamasa said
yesterday the electoral reform amendment Bill will be brought to Parliament
soon. ZimOnline

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      Senior official guilty of demanding bribe jailed in Zimbabwe 2004-09-14 14:47:38

           HARARE, Sept. 14 (Xinhuanet) -- A senior law officer found guilty
of demanding a 200,000 Zimbabwean dollars (about 36 US dollars) bribe from a
convicted person was jailed Monday for breaching the Prevention of
Corruption Act, local media reported Tuesday.

          Nickiel Mushangwe had denied the charges when his trial opened,but
was ruled guilty by Harare regional magistrate Sandra Nhau.

          He was sentenced to one year and eight months' imprisonment butsix
months were conditionally suspended.

          Mushangwe's relatives, who were following the proceedings,
weptopenly in court as the magistrate handed down the sentence.

          Mushangwe, clad in remand prison garb, remained numb in the dock
and was quickly escorted back into the holding cells by a prison guard.

          The court heard that sometime last year Raphel Rupere was
convicted of assault and causing grievous bodily harm and he appealed
against both conviction and sentence at the High Court.

          In October last year, Mushangwe, whose duties as a public officer
included processing bail applications and appeals by convicted persons, was
handling Rupere's case.

          Mushangwe then processed Rupere's application and demanded 200,000
Zimbabwean dollars bribe in return for successfully deliveringhis appeal.

          He solicited for the bribe through Rupere's lawyer Donald
Mashingaidze, who supplied Mushangwe with his client's phone number.

          Mushangwe isn't the first senior official thrown into jail for
corruption. Since the anti-corruption crackdown began in December last year,
several high-profile individuals have been arrested formoney laundering,
unauthorized externalization of funds, and illegally dealing in gold and
other precious minerals.

          Prominent people who have been arrested include former ministerof
finance and economic development Chris Kuruneri, former minister of lands
and agriculture Kumbirai Kangai and the ruling Zimbabwe African National
Union-Patriotic Front Central Committee member James Makamba, etc.

          President Robert Mugabe has repeatedly warned that the
anti-corruption crackdown will not spare anyone who committed crimes,
including top government officials. Enditem
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14 September 2004


The Opening of the Pan-African Parliament Is an Historic Moment for Africa


The official opening of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) on Thursday represents an historic moment for Africa. It signifies the determined progress we are making as a continent to chart a new beginning and collectively build an Africa that is characterised by democracy, stability and sustainable development.


Since the inauguration of the African Union in August 2002, Africa has started to build an institutional framework capable of nurturing the unity and solidarity that is necessary to break the shackles of the past and make real progress towards achieving the goals of the African renaissance and ending our marginalisation in an increasingly global world.  


The PAP, is an integral part of this framework. Its pursuit of its key objectives, which include ‘promoting the principles of human rights and democracy in Africa’, will increase the pressure on those member states who continue to fall foul of the democratic standards implicit in the AU’s Constitutive Act, the Africa Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the AU Declaration on the Principles Governing Democratic Elections in Africa.


Moreover, the PAP’s role as a forum in which parliamentarians from across Africa can meet to debate and discuss the issues of the day, will enable the people of Africa to have a voice and participate in the development of the continent. 


This is a sign of our increasing democratic maturity. We now have an institution with the potential to make a real, positive, difference to the lives of ordinary Africans.


The MDC, through its representatives in the PAP, aims to play its part in assisting this institution fulfil its potential.


Paul Themba Nyathi

Secretary for Information and Publicity


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From The Mail on Sunday (UK), 12 September

ECB ban talks with Zimbabwe protesters

England players ordered not to speak to leading pressure group

By Peter Hayler

England players will not be allowed to meet Zimbabwe protest groups before
deciding whether to be available for the controversial autumn tour. The
England Cricket Board are determined the trip should go ahead and are
opposed to any contacts. ECB's new policy contrasts sharply with former
skipper Nasser Hussain's move last year when he told his players to find out
everything they could about President Robert Mugabe's regime before England's
World Cup game in Harare. A letter has been received by the ECB from the
Zimbabwe Defence and Aid Fund UK - it is also addressed to all players
concerned - detailing allegations of police torture of those protesting
against matches played in Zimbabwe during last year's tournament following
Zimbabwe's decision to abandon their tie. In the letter the group talks of
'brutal experiences' suffered by protesters 'which are simply shocking.' A
document enclosed with the letter refers to arrests, torture and rape in
custody. The organisation, considered a credible action group representing
opposition to Mugabe, told the players they had hoped to address them in
person, but that despite several requests, the ECB have decided not to
permit us to brief you in person, hence this letter.'

When confirming on Friday their intention that England would play five
one-day matches in Zimbabwe between November 26 and December 5, the ECB
indicated their preference that all players should make themselves
available. But, although they stressed no individual would be penalised for
not going, a Board spokesman last night said the possibility of players
being allowed to meet pressure groups to discuss the situation in Zimbabwe
in detail was 'extremely unlikely'. ZDAF wrote: 'Eighteen months ago, the
England team chose not to play their World Cup fixture against Zimbabwe.
Other teams did make the journey north from South Africa; two matches were
decided in Harare, and three at the Queen's Ground in Bulawayo. The document
we have enclosed was compiled shortly after the Bulawayo matches. It details
what happened to some of the Zimbabweans who attended those games, and who,
without disrupting play in any way, exercised their constitutional right to
peaceful protest. The brutal experiences related by these people, who are
only a sample of those arrested at the time, are simply shocking.'

The note claimed the situation in Zimbabwe was far worse that it was a year
ago. It went on: 'This letter is not intended to scare or threaten. The
England touring party is highly unlikely to face any physical danger, and
will be feted by the ZCU and the government. But if you are one of those who
travel to Zimbabwe, remember what is going on behind the sight-screen.' The
ECB spokesman said: 'We have received many letters from pressure groups but
we have made it clear that safety and security are the only issues we have.
The moral concerns are off limits. It is unlikely that any pressure group
would be allowed to meet the players in person.' Richard Bevan, the Team
England representative from the Professional Cricketers' Association said:
'The players are aware of the atrocities being alleged but perhaps these
claims should be put to the ICC rather than the ECB.' On the field, England
duly polished off sub-standard Zimbabwean opposition yesterday in the
rain-affected opening match of the ICC Champions Trophy at Edgbaston,
winning by 152 runs with 11 overs to spare. In the half-match held over from
Friday, played in a near empty ground, Paul Collingwood finished on 80 not
out as England made 299. Zimbabwe were bowled out for 147, Steve Harmison
taking 3-29 and Andrew Flintoff 3-11. England captain Michael Vaughan later
said former Zimbabwe skipper Heath Streak, whose sacking precipitated the
crisis in the game in his homeland, should be playing in the tournament.
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From IPS, 13 September

Battered and bruised, the main opposition party takes stock

Wilson Johwa

Bulawayo - Zimbabwe's main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC), celebrated its fifth anniversary over the weekend. However,
ceremonies to mark the event were overshadowed by the question mark hanging
over the party's participation in next year's parliamentary election. In his
anniversary message, MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai said the party had
dealt a blow to "the myth of invincibility that has come to be associated
with (President) Robert Mugabe". "We must place on the public record that
our major victory in the past five years was in building a force that has
changed the political landscape of Zimbabwe and ushered in an era of active,
multi-party politics in the country," he noted. In 2000, the MDC - then only
nine months old - became the first opposition group to challenge the ruling
Zanu PF party's vice-like grip on power by winning 57 of the 120 seats in
parliament. As 30 legislators are appointed by the president, the MDC would
have needed 76 seats to gain control of parliament - a body that has been
dominated by Zanu PF since Zimbabwe attained independence from Britain in

Since then, the MDC has lost six of its seats in by-elections marked by the
political intimidation that has come to characterize life in Zimbabwe over
the past five years - and which is overwhelmingly directed against the
opposition. Last month, the Geneva-based International Parliamentary Union
said government had done little to stop youth militias linked to the ruling
party from persecuting and torturing MDC parliamentarians. With only six
months to go before the 2005 poll, Zimbabwe's courts have yet to rule on
appeals concerning 25 of the 37 seats the party says were illegally won by
Zanu PF in 2000, due to violence and intimidation by ruling party
supporters. Of the 12 seats already ruled on, the court decided in favour of
the MDC for seven appeals - dismissing the other five cases. The opposition
has also found itself in court over treason charges filed against
Tsvangirai, who is awaiting a verdict on charges of plotting to assassinate
Mugabe. If convicted, the MDC leader faces the death penalty.

Partly as a result of intimidation, the party - a product of the trade union
movement - has laid down a set of conditions for its participation in the
2005 election. It is hoped that these conditions will correct an electoral
process which is skewed in favour of the ruling party. "We are preparing for
elections...What we did was to suspend participation, but we did not boycott
the election," said Tsvangirai this weekend, while addressing a rally in the
southern city of in Bulawayo. In addition to operating in a violent
environment, the opposition also finds its activities circumscribed by the
Public Order and Security Act - which requires that the police approve all
meetings of a political nature. Under the equally infamous Access to
Information and Protection of Privacy Act, Zimbabwe's sole privately-owned
daily - The Daily News - was closed down. This has created a situation where
public perceptions of the MDC are, by and large, in the hands of the state
media - which typically portrays the party in a negative light.

The MDC says it will not contest the 2005 poll if government fails to reform
Zimbabwe's electoral system along principles agreed by the Southern African
Development Community (SADC), at a two-day summit held in Mauritius that
ended Aug. 17. These principles stipulate, amongst other things, that the 13
SADC member states should allow opposition parties to campaign freely. They
also require countries in the region to set up impartial electoral
institutions. "SADC must push Mugabe to honour his word, and do so early
enough to have our elections," said Tsvangirai in his anniversary statement.
He has dismissed as cosmetic last week's announcement by Harare that it was
going to establish an independent electoral commission to monitor polls. The
MDC says its participation in the poll will also depend on it being given
unfettered access to the media - and on whether a transparent voter
registration process is put in place. With certain analysts already
expressing doubt as to whether Zanu PF will meet all of these demands,
however, the MDC's statements are viewed by many as a signal that the party
will boycott the 2005 election. This has split public opinion down the

Some feel the move was ill-timed, coming at a time when SADC appeared to
have departed from tradition by applying pressure on Zimbabwe's government
to reform its ways. The MDC, the argument goes, should have "tested the
waters" first to take the measure of reforms duly proposed by authorities -
which also include a pledge to provide transparent ballot boxes, reduce the
number of voting days from two to one, and allow ballots to be counted at
polling stations. Others such as Lovemore Madhuku, chairman of the National
Constitutional Assembly (NCA), says the "boycott" is long overdue. (The NCA
groups civic organisations which are pushing for the adoption of a new
constitution in Zimbabwe.) Madhuku, whose offices were ransacked by police
earlier this month, describes the MDC's decision to suspend participation as
a "wise move" - and almost inevitable, given the course of democratic
struggles elsewhere: "All people in the world who've fought for the genuine
opening up of democratic space have not had the privilege that the MDC has
had - participating in the system, while on the other hand fighting to
change it."

In addition to the disputed parliamentary election of 2000 and presidential
poll in 2002, the last five years in Zimbabwe have witnessed the enactment
of a controversial land reform programme that began with farm occupations by
war veterans and ruling party militants. Most of the farms concerned were
owned by minority whites - a legacy of colonial rule in Zimbabwe that has
proved resistant to change in the two decades following independence. The
farm seizures precipitated an economic crisis in the country, which has seen
its economy contract by about seven percent per annum. Inflation has soared
to 400 percent. Some have accused the MDC of failing to provide strong
leadership against this backdrop of political and economic crisis. They
includes the outspoken Roman Catholic archbishop of Bulawayo, Pius Ncube,
who describes the party as "sitting back" and failing to harness public
anger. Brian Raftopoulos, a professor at the Zimbabwe Institute of
Development Studies, says the MDC needs to reflect critically on the state
of its organisational structures and problems of internal accountability.
But, "Most importantly it will need to offer a message of hope to its
existing and potential supporters, and provide a programme of action that
will look beyond the 2005 elections."
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ZIMBABWE: Ahead in loan repayments to IMF

[ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

JOHANNESBURG, 14 Sep 2004 (IRIN) - Zimbabwe is ahead in its loan repayments
of US $1.5 million per quarter to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Local economist Dennis Nikisi told IRIN that "by making those payments, it
shows [Zimbabwe's] commitment to meeting our obligations ... it is the
intention that is important", although the payments made so far "are still
tiny, compared to how much we owe".

At the end of June, Zimbabwe's arrears to the Fund amounted to almost US
$295 million, "which is quite a lot of money ... but the fact that the
Reserve Bank governor, Dr Gono, is striving to meet those commitments will
engender a lot of goodwill," Nikisi said.

The IMF office in Zimbabwe confirmed that "during 2004, Zimbabwe has so far
made 10 payments of US $1.5 million each to the Fund, so total payments
amounted to US $15 million".

This puts Zimbabwe well ahead of its quarterly repayment schedule - a
situation that could bode well for future dealings with the Bretton Woods

"I'm hoping that in the not too distant future, Gono can go back to the IMF
and tell them about what we've been doing. And I think the IMF and other
bilateral donors will listen to us more sympathetically than they have in
the past," Nikisi said.

In July the IMF's executive board decided "to postpone a recommendation for
compulsory withdrawal, providing Zimbabwe with another chance to strengthen
its cooperation with the Fund in terms of economic policies and payments".

This followed what the Fund called "limited improvements in economic policy"
and the resumption of loan repayments by Zimbabwe.

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New Zealand Herald

Struggle for a better life ends in crumpled wreck


When the crumpled wreck of a van came to rest on Pakowhai Rd, Hastings, on
Monday it marked the end of a father's struggle to provide a better life for
his wife and four children.

Leon Oosthuizen, 44, moved to Hawkes Bay from Zimbabwe in February last year
with his wife, Margie, and children Lendl, 17, Jessica, 14, Hannah, 11 and
Byron, 8.

He died after the van he was driving was involved in a collision with a
truck shortly after midday on Monday.

The Oosthuizens were forced to leave their farm in the Macheke area of
Zimbabwe, about 120km north of Harare, after it was besieged by "war
veterans" as part of President Robert Mugabe's land redistribution policy.

They faced increased violence in their last years in Zimbabwe, with a gun
being held to Mr Oosthuizen's head three times.

After deciding to emigrate, the Oosthuizens bought Redskin Nurseries between
Clive and Hastings - they needed to buy a business that employed two New
Zealanders to get visas.

A tearful Mrs Oosthuizen yesterday said she would be unable to run the
nursery on her own and she was worried the family's visas would be
threatened. "If we lose the business, we'll lose the visa."

In Zimbabwe the couple leased a 1250ha farm growing tobacco, maize, soya
beans, wheat, lupins and livestock. The land, which they worked from 1992
until last year, had not been farmed for 18 years before they transformed it
into a productive farm. They left the farm with four years left on the

They arrived in New Zealand with $80,000 after selling farm implements on
the black market, and smuggling their three tractors into South Africa.

"We sold them for US$5000 [$7600]," Mrs Oosthuizen said. "It cost us
hundreds to get the border guard to turn a blind eye."

Hannah said her father was loving, helpful, and hard-working.

"He always used to work so much. In the last few days he was getting so
stressed out because our boiler hasn't been working. It's a very stressful
time with our debt. I don't know how we will pay it now. We are trying to
pay it slowly, but it's very hard," she said.

Tears began welling in the 11-year-old's eyes as she described waiting at
the bus stop in Clive after school. Her father usually picked her up, but
yesterday he was not there.

A family friend collected Hannah and brought her home.

"I asked him where Dad was. He didn't say anything. I said 'Is he sick?' He
said, 'Yeah' in a soft voice. I just hugged him. I saw four cars in the
driveway and I saw Mum's car. Then I saw everyone crying. I asked Mum what
happened. She said, 'Dad is dead'," Hannah said, wiping her eyes.

"It feels so weird to know that Dad is not going to come around the corner
and say, 'What are you all up to? What are you crying for?' I really miss

Mrs Oosthuizen, who celebrated her 19th wedding anniversary last week, said
the family wanted to stay in Hawkes Bay.

"We've had so many blessings," she said. "The Kiwis have embraced us with
open arms. I feel like I lived here years ago and I've just come back."

Mr Oosthuizen was returning to the nursery after delivering tomatoes to
Napier when Monday's crash happened, closing the Napier-Hastings route for
more than five hours as police cleared wreckage.

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Now Mugabe wants 50% of mines
          September 14 2004 at 03:40PM

      Harare - The government of President Robert Mugabe will soon lay claim
to half ownership of all the country's privately owned mines, the state
press reported on Tuesday.

      The state-controlled daily Herald quoted the 80-year-old leader as
saying: "We are going to demand that government be given 50 percent shares
in the mines."

      "We cannot recognise absolute ownership of our resources," he said.
"That must be corrected."

      Comment could not immediately be obtained from the Zimbabwe Chamber of
Mines, which represents the mining industry.

      Mining is one of Zimbabwe's most vital economic sectors, and one of
the few sources of foreign currency left in the midst of the country's
economic crisis, following the collapse of the once robust agricultural

      The announcement indicates a far more radical approach than was
planned in previous policies. In March, the government shelved plans to
force international mining companies to sell 49 percent of their shares to

      Observers said Mugabe's statement suggests that he plans a seizure of
the half-shareholdings with no suggestion of compensation.

      Zimbabwe has a wide range of mineral output, and was a major world
producer of gold, diamonds, platinum, chrome, asbestos and lithium, but in
the last four years of economic and political crisis, production has

      The country used to be Africa's third largest producer of gold, after
South Africa and Ghana, but in the last four years output has fallen from 30
tons a year to 12 tons in 2003.

      International mining groups have also largely withdrawn from the
country, with South Africa's Anglo American and Britain's Rio Tinto the only
foreign companies with any large stake. - Sapa-dpa

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Mugabe ropes in Interpol
14/09/2004 20:30  - (SA)

Harare - Zimbabwe has asked Interpol to help find fugitive Zimbabwean
businessmen accused of economic crimes, state radio reported on Tuesday.

Senior Zimbabwe police officers investigating several senior bank executives
have already been assigned to visit Britain and neighbouring South Africa in
connection with economic cases.

The radio said President Robert Mugabe promised that executives accused of
crimes including black market currency deals that hurt the country's
economic development, would eventually be brought to justice in Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe has an extradition treaty with South Africa, but the president
acknowledged that Britain, the former colonial power he routinely accuses of
campaigning for his ouster, was unlikely to extradite fugitives.

"Criminals are criminals. Does it augur well for Britain to keep the
criminals?" Mugabe said.

None of six of Zimbabwe's best-known banking executives who have fled to
Britain this year have been charged with any crime in their absence.

The private National Merchant Bank, which had been accused of transacting
hard currency deals at unofficial exchange rates, said most of the
executives had fled from a presidential decree in March that allowed
detention of economic crime suspects for up to 28 days without the option of

Under law the option of bail must be given in court within 48 hours of

The fugitives have described Mugabe's decree as a violation of
constitutional rights guaranteeing liberty and enabling them to co-operate
in investigations, particularly into complex financial affairs.

Opponents of Mugabe's say the decree was seen as a way to send some of the
most successful businessmen, many critical of the government's economic
policies, to filthy and overcrowded prisons.

It also would serve as a propaganda ploy to show the government was fighting
high-level crime and black-marketeering, opponents say.

The drive against executive crime appears to be faltering under pressure
from the country's wealthiest and most powerful political figures, lawyers

Of three ruling party politicians arrested in connection with economic
crimes two have been freed.
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New Zimbabwe


      It's the politics, stupid!

      Last updated: 09/14/2004 20:06:35
      A VERY sad story stole my attention last week. I read from one of the
Zimbabwean newspapers website about Dr Gideon Gono's scathing attack on
graduates who had left the country. The Reserve Bank Governor is reported to
have cautioned young Zimbabweans who intended to abandon the country as the
millions of others had already done in the last few years.

      According to the newspaper report, Gono is said to have suggested that
history would judge the graduating students harshly if ever they failed to
realize the importance of being part of the fight to turn around the
economy. He then advised them to be more patriotic than their predecessors
by resisting the temptation to ply their trade abroad

      Gono appears to subscribe to the discredited theory that the
socio-economic crisis our country is currently submerged under, has no
co-relation whatsoever with the political turmoil that has engulfed the
nation. He seems to believe that it is possible to revive the economy
without the need for political reform in Zimbabwe. Gono wrongly assumed that
once the economic fundamentals are addressed, then the political crisis
would subside.

      Unfortunately, as anyone who has been watching the crisis in Zimbabwe
unfolds, it was a proverbial case of putting the cart before the horse.
There is no doubt that Gono certainly missed the point and completely
misfired on that occasion.

      It is my strong contention that socio-economic decline we have
experienced over the last few years is directly as a result of the failure
of our political system. In particular, we have an electoral process whose
main contribution has only been to severely undermine the democratic gains
that where realized in 1980.

      Unless the political issues such as a fundamentally flawed
Constitution, criminalization of opposition party politics, gross human
rights abuse, draconian laws and Government sponsored terror are decisively
resolved; our nation shall continue to wallow in the marsh mallows.

      It is the resolution of the political crisis that will determine the
process of socio-economic recovery for Zimbabwe. Period!

      Granted, the tragedy in Zimbabwe is a multi-layered crisis. It
involves several aspects such as the land issue, socio-economic matters, et
cetera. However it is clear that the root cause of the crisis are issues of
lack of purpose and value driven leadership. The crisis is essentially about
the lack of a culture of good governance and democracy.

      It is contended further that the crux of the entire matter is the
issue of the succession debate. In Zimbabwe we have a tragic case of a
geriatric leadership that has found it difficult to pass on the button stick
of leadership to a younger generation.

      We have a 'gerontocracy' that has completely undermined the nation's
logical process of democratic transition in a desperate measure to remain in
power at all costs. The basis of this selfish process of self-preservation
is directly linked to the mistakes, which the likes of Mugabe have made over
the years.

      In particular, there are such issues as the inexplicable deaths of
several leaders of the liberation movement such as Chitepo, Mangena,
Tongogara and Malunga, among others.

      Not to mention the rampant cases of cronyism, corruption and
land/wealth grab that we have witnessed in the years after independence. Our
assumed liberators have completely abandoned the masses in their
unquenchable quest for power and wealth. They have utterly betrayed the main
values of the anti-colonial revolution.

      But even more importantly, is the unresolved issue of the Matabeleland
genocide that occurred in the 1980s that also makes it difficult for the
likes of Mugabe to release their firm grip on political power. It is
generally agreed among experts that over 20000 lives remain unaccounted for
as a result of the military campaign that was waged by the North Korean
trained Fifth Brigade.

      As such, Mugabe knows that once he steps down, he faces serious
charges of crimes against humanity. Mugabe is in essence, another case of a
Pinochet waiting to explode!

      Gono should thus disabuse himself from the notion that young people
have a place in the future of the country. In fact as far as I see, try as
hard as I may, there is just no future for young people in Zimbabwe at the

      The country has no basis for future existence. There is no visionary
or strategic plan to take the nation forward. We all do not have a clue
about where the nation is heading. I am sure even Mugabe is stranded about
the way forward.

      Whatever happened to the Vision 2020, MERP and NERP comrades?

      Young Zimbabweans such as the Solusi graduands should not be motivated
to stay in the country and watch the national decay haplessly or even worse,
be sucked up into the wayward systems under the corrupt regime.

      In any case, even if they decide to stay over, the chances of them
ever getting a decent job is like finding a needle in a haystack. The
country's unemployment rate has already passed the 80% mark as I write

      Perhaps it is suffice for me to mention that the only young people who
are guaranteed a job are those with certificates of attestation from one of
the regime's youth militia training centers. By that, I mean the so-called
'green bombers' -
      Daniel Molokela is the National Co-ordinator of the Peace and
Democracy Project
      Johannesburg, South Africa. His column appears here every Monday
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New Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe newspaper hits UK news stands

By Staff Reporter
Last updated: 09/15/2004 06:22:53 Last updated: 09/15/2004 01:52:28
A NEWLY-LAUNCHED Zimbabwean paper hit the UK news stands on Monday.

Publishers of the 32-page monthly paper said it had been set up to "articulate African issues" and provide critical information on immigratrion matters and social services.

"We want to record the triumphs and challenges of Africans, particularly Zimbabweans living in Britain," the paper's editor Masithokoze Maphenduka-Moyo told the BBC TV on Monday night.

The first issue of the paper has the headline "I am no kidnapper - Zondo".

The paper says it managed to get an exclusive interview with Mthokozisi Zondo, an asylum seeker jailed for three years (read stories) in Wales after being accused of attempting to kidnap a toddler. He has maintained his innocence and says he was just trying to be friendly with the child. A group of Zimbabwean lawyers are seeking a review of the case.

The paper also has an exclusive interview with Emma Nhamburo, a Zimbabwean singer who is riding high on the crest of the wave with UK dancehall sensations FYA (listen to their latest single).

Maphenduka said new media laws in Zimbabwe which have forced the closure of three independent papers had denied Zimbabweans living at home and abroad access to independent news and her paper would seek to fill that gap.

The Fusion Voice which started with a print run of 10 000 copies is free. It will be published every 21st day of the month, the publishers said.

"We hope to turn it into a weekly paper in early January next year," Maphenduka-Moyo said.

She said the paper will be circulated mostly in the Midlands and up North stretching to Scotland. It will be available at African retail shops, restaurants and employment agencies.
For more information, subscription details and advertising please e-mail: or call 08707506303 or 01132489911

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